How democratising data has been vital for healthcare brands during Covid-19

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Session When the Covid-19 pandemic first hit globally, supporting organisations in healthcare took on a significance never seen before. Cloud-based software and infrastructure, helping to share information more easily between teams and keep resources afloat, became crucial.

Many of the world’s biggest cloud companies – whose revenues admittedly go well into the billions each month – were able to help. Google Cloud helped provide several public Covid-19 datasets free to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering. Microsoft enabled NHS staff in the UK to use Teams for free. Amazon Web Services put $20 million aside to assist customers working on diagnostics solutions.

On a wider scale, however, cloud-based business intelligence (BI) in healthcare is an interesting area to explore. A blog post from Infiniti Research outlines three key areas; better care for patients, stronger allocation of expenses, and supporting and improving decision making.

“The constantly growing number of data sources and complexities associated with the generation of data within healthcare organisations have resulted in the need for better decision making capabilities,” the company wrote. “Hospitals and other healthcare organisations need [BI] tools to gain better insights into labour distribution, patient care and satisfaction, clinical operations, administration and management, and daily practices of physicians and nurses.”

A recent webinar featuring the digital innovation and consumer experience (DICE) group at Jefferson Health, alongside BI provider DOMO and research firm TDWI (Transforming Data With Intelligence), explored the ‘unprecedented challenge’ of Covid-19 as well as a wider theme of democratising data.

Neil Gomes, EVP and chief digital officer of the DICE Group at Jefferson Health, alongside David Stodder of TDWI, outlined how cloud-based data services and analytics practices have enabled organisations to become data-empowered and ‘proactive’ in the face of disruption. The DICE Group has put together various pandemic solutions, from online training, to expanded telehealth, to systems for tracking Covid-19 exposure and symptoms.

Scott Townsend, director of content marketing at DOMO, summed up the webinar’s key points. “The DICE Group’s initiatives were specifically designed for Jefferson Health to protect patients and providers from unnecessary virus exposure, equip the workforce with life-saving skills and knowledge needed to fight Covid-19, keep the health system adequately staffed and supplied with critical resources through the pandemic, and otherwise provide support to physicians, patients, and staff.

“We learned that succeeding in these endeavours meant democratising data insights and empowering data-informed decision making,” Townsend added.

Stodder explained how BI made this success happen, and the importance of BI leverage being democratised. “If you’re not delivering things in the context the subject matter experts, business users, or consumers need, they’re going to have to take a lot of extra steps, and they’re going to be frustrated,” he said. “It is important to make sure you provide the reports and dashboards and the analytics in the context of the decisions that the users try and make autonomously.”

Yet there was a word of caution. “To enact this in your own business is no casual exercise,” wrote Townsend. This is an understandable maxim across any industry; yet healthcare, with its reliance on security, handling of personally identifiable information (PII), and literally life-or-death decisions made each day, ensures even greater import placed on it.

Healthcare organisations therefore need to get BI investments absolutely right with a trusted partner in tow. At DMWF Virtual, David Johnson, director solutions consulting EMEA – POC at DOMO, will speak about the work being undertaken with private healthcare provider Ramsay Health Care. The session will outline how Ramsay helps glean insights to make decisions fast, based on accurate data, as well as connect marketing data across disparate systems to optimise its marketing strategy.

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Photo by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash

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